Should authors be prohibited from posting in BOTM forum?

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Should authors be invited to post in BOTM forum?

(A) always prohibit authors from posting in the BOTM forum entirely
3
27%
(B) allow authors to post in the BOTM forum and work under the assumption they will be (even if they choose not to); make it very clear upfront to all members in the forum that the author has been invited to participate and will be reading and potentially replying to their posts.
1
9%
(C) invite each author to choose between (A) and (B) for themselves in advance, and go with (A) by default if the author doesn't respond before the discussion forum is opened
7
64%
 
Total votes: 11

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Scott
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Should authors be prohibited from posting in BOTM forum?

Post by Scott » 26 Jun 2019, 13:42

It has been suggested by some that if an author is able to post regularly in the BOTM forum that this can make some other participants uncomfortable, especially if they are caught by surprise. Others think it is an honor to have the author taking part in the book club discussion of the book.

Imagine the following two similar scenarios with a real life monthly book club--


Scenario One: Imagine you are part of a real life book club where you meet to talk about a book with a few other people each month at a local restaurant. Imagine one time you are chatting honestly about that month's book and then in the middle of the discussion find out unbeknownst to you that the author has been sitting at the table next you listening, when suddenly mid-discussion the author joins in the discussion and starts answering questions being discussed and potentially disagreeing with opinion or statements other members have made about the book (even if those statements were made by the person before they even knew the author was listening).


Scenario Two: Imagine again that you are part of a real life book club where you meet to talk about a book with a few other people each month at a local restaurant. But this time imagine your book club invites the author to participate each month, and one time the author agrees and attends, and the author is introduced at the beginning of the meeting, and you all participate together knowing upfront the author is there and participating.


I think we can all agree scenario one is bad and scenario two is good. In this case, we can see why some people think it is an honor and pleasure to have the author join in on the BOTM discussions (like scenario two) but others think it is inappropriate for an author to post in the BOTM forum (especially when other members didn't realize the author would be reading and replying to their posts)

Neither of the two scenarios will ever be a perfect analogy for our situation, since we are an online book club in which the discussion posts are posted publicly online in writing. However, to avoid scenario one, I think we either need to choose between the following:

(A) prohibiting authors from posting in the BOTM forum entirely

or

(B) allow authors to post in the BOTM forum and work under the assumption they will be (even if they choose not to), but make it very clear upfront to all members posting in the forum that the author has been invited to participate and will be reading and potentially replying to their posts.

or

(C) invite each author in advance and go with B if the author agrees to participate and wants to participate and go with A each month that author either doesn't respond in advance or that the author prefers to not participate.


I think C might be best. Imagine if JK Rowling asked to participate in a discussion of Harry Potter with us. Sure it would change the tone of the discussion and might cause some people to avoid being critical at least out of generic politeness, but it would open up an entirely different kind of discussion worth having, as long as we knew she was present and participating in advance.
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Post by kandscreeley » 26 Jun 2019, 14:07

I'm definitely for C. I think it'd be great to have the author participate if they want to, but I think we should definitely know up front if that is the case. If the author doesn't want to participate, I think we should know that to. It would definitely change the discussion if the author participates, and I think some authors might actually want to not participate in order to get more honest feedback...
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Post by Nisha Ward » 26 Jun 2019, 18:03

I think C is the best option. Authors may not always want to participate but if they do, members should be aware of this.
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Post by CommMayo » 27 Jun 2019, 11:21

I like C as well. Personally, I was really taken off guard when a certain author showed up on one of the BOTM forums. This was an issue for me because I was quite vocal in my dislike of the book and had openly admitted to doing the official review of the audiobook version of the same book.

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Post by Chrystal Oaks » 28 Jun 2019, 18:18

I vote for C. Like you stated, nobody likes to be surprised.
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Post by Chrystal Oaks » 28 Jun 2019, 19:26

Chrystal Oaks wrote:
28 Jun 2019, 18:18
I vote for C. Like you stated, nobody likes to be surprised.
Also, I think it needs to be understood that if the author chooses to participate, to avoid using all caps when replying. I can empathize with an author when expressing frustration to a reply, but no all-caps please.
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Post by Gravy » 03 Jul 2019, 03:46

Honestly?

I'd go with A unless authors' posts will be subject to the same rules as other members.

If not (and if anything like ...what has happened... happens again), there's a great chance members will stop participating in the BOTM.
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Post by Gravy » 03 Jul 2019, 03:48

Chrystal Oaks wrote:
28 Jun 2019, 19:26
Chrystal Oaks wrote:
28 Jun 2019, 18:18
I vote for C. Like you stated, nobody likes to be surprised.
Also, I think it needs to be understood that if the author chooses to participate, to avoid using all caps when replying. I can empathize with an author when expressing frustration to a reply, but no all-caps please.
I completely agree. All caps is not okay in polite discussion.

You can report a post if you feel it breaks site rules. :tiphat:
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Post by gali » 03 Jul 2019, 04:24

Gravy wrote:
03 Jul 2019, 03:46
Honestly?

I'd go with A unless authors' posts will be subject to the same rules as other members.

If not (and if anything like ...what has happened... happens again), there's a great chance members will stop participating in the BOTM.
I agree! I voted for A as well a while ago.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by Chrystal Oaks » 03 Jul 2019, 06:59

Gravy wrote:
03 Jul 2019, 03:48
Chrystal Oaks wrote:
28 Jun 2019, 19:26
Chrystal Oaks wrote:
28 Jun 2019, 18:18
I vote for C. Like you stated, nobody likes to be surprised.
Also, I think it needs to be understood that if the author chooses to participate, to avoid using all caps when replying. I can empathize with an author when expressing frustration to a reply, but no all-caps please.
I completely agree. All caps is not okay in polite discussion.

You can report a post if you feel it breaks site rules. :tiphat:
I will remember this. Thanks! :-)
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